Eric's Character and His Function in JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls

Pages: 2 (657 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Erics character and his function within An Inspector Calls
In an Inspector Calls Priestley aims to show that all actions have repercussions. He also tells us that charity isn’t always good charity unless it is thoughtful and helps someone as it can often just leave people in a worse off position. Eric helps Priestley to achieve this aim by thinking he is helping Eva but actually he leaves her in a worse position without realising it as he shows her what she could have had. Priestley also wants us to think about how the younger generation can change their views easily and how they are influenced by their parents who can’t change their views as easily. Eric starts the play as a capitalist but then changes to a socialist as he realises it is better whereas Mr and Mrs Birling don’t change. Priestley also wants to show that often situations are influenced and linked to other situations and how socialism is better than capitalism and this is shown at the end of the book by Eric and Sheila becoming better people because of changing from capitalist to socialist and admitting that they have wronged. Eric is first introduced as he ‘ guffaws’ with laughter at the meal which is rude as the family don’t know what about and neither does he this shows that he has no respect. He is presented as a rowdy character who likes a drink and in the stage directions it says ‘not too rudely’ and ‘rather noisily’ before Eric speaks. He acts in a drunk manner throughout the meal and Sheila says ‘you’re squiffy’ as she knows him well unlike Mr and Mrs Birling who don’t have a clue what he is capable of and what he has been up too. When the inspector turns up Eric responds in an irresponsible way and doesn’t admit to anything. Eric steals money from his father’s business to ‘help’ Eva this is an irresponsible thing to do but he is only trying to help but without realising it he actually makes the situation worse as he doesn’t realise what the long term effects will be. When Eric gets Eva...
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